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T-Mobile will soon adopt Google's RCS Universal Profile

This brings us one step closer toward RCS becoming truly universal, though more carriers should really support the Universal Profile.

Published onMarch 14, 2018

  • T-Mobile announced support for Google and the GSMA’s RCS Universal Profile.
  • Support will arrive as software updates during the second quarter.
  • Sprint is the only other US carrier that supports the RCS Universal Profile.

Aiming to replace the aging Short Message Service (SMS) standard, the Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard is on the rise. Verizon, AT&T, Sprint, and T-Mobile support the standard, but the Un-Carrier looks to one-up the former two by announcing its support of Google and the GSMA’s Universal Profile.

According to T-Mobile, the support will roll out to customers as software updates sometime during the second quarter of 2018.

As a quick refresher, RCS lets you share your location, as well as attach high-resolution images, video, and audio. You can also archive group chats, remove people from group conversations, make video calls, and enable things like read receipts and typing indicators.

You can go here to learn more about what makes RCS important, but thanks to the 49 carriers around the world that support the standard, RCS is also on the rise.

The problem is that not every carrier adopted the same RCS standard. T-Mobile started to support RCS in 2015, with over 30 million of its customers having sent over 250 million RCS messages each day. Those numbers might be great and all, but the Un-Carrier jumped on the RCS bandwagon one year before Google and the GSMA released the RCS Universal Profile.

Apart from spam protection and privacy control, the Universal Profile allows for RCS to work seamlessly across carriers. You might be a T-Mobile customer with an RCS-capable smartphone, but you can only take advantage of the standard with others on the same network.

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Verizon and AT&T do not yet support the Universal Profile, which prevents RCS from being truly widespread across the US. Also, there might still be compatibility issues, since not every smartphone is RCS-capable.

Finally, Sprint beat T-Mobile to the punch by almost two years, so the Un-Carrier is playing catch-up with the US’ fourth-largest carrier.

Even so, T-Mobile’s announcement means we are one step closer to RCS becoming truly universal. We still have a ways to go until that becomes reality, but as someone who uses Android Messages, you can’t blame for being excited.

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